HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING
BY MARTIN NESIRKY,
SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
FRIDAY, 2 AUGUST 2013
U.N. HUMAN RIGHTS CHIEF SAYS ALLEGATIONS OF EXECUTIONS BY ARMED OPPOSITION GROUPS ARE DEEPLY SHOCKING
- The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, said that allegations that armed opposition groups in Syria executed dozens of Government soldiers captured after a battle in Khan Al-Assal in July are "deeply shocking". She noted video footage that suggests that executions were committed in Khan Al-Assal.
- In a statement issued in Geneva, the High Commissioner said that there needs to be a thorough independent investigation to establish whether war crimes have been committed.
- The High Commissioner said her team in the region was investigating the reports, and had examined the videos and collected accounts from people in Aleppo. That team is continuing to investigate the circumstances and scope of the killings.
- Ms. Pillay also renewed her call to the Syrian Government to grant access to the country to representatives from her Office and the Commission of Inquiry on Syria, in order to be able to investigate human rights violations, no matter who committed them.
SECRETARY-GENERAL APPOINTS NICKOLAY MLADENOV OF BULGARIA AS HIS SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE FOR IRAQ
- The Secretary-General today announced the appointment of Mr. Nickolay Mladenov of Bulgaria as his Special Representative for Iraq and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI).
- Mr. Mladenov will replace Mr. Martin Kobler of Germany, to whom the Secretary-General is grateful for his dedicated service and excellent leadership of UNAMI.
- Mr. Mladenov brings to his new position extensive experience from a distinguished career in public service. As Minister for Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria from February 2010 to March 2013, he led his country’s diplomatic engagement with a large number of partners, including in the Middle East. He served as Minister of Defence of Bulgaria (July 2009-January 2010) and as a Member of the European Parliament, including its Foreign Affairs Committee and the Delegation for Iraq (May 2007-June 2009). He was also a Member of the Parliament of Bulgaria from 2001 to 2005.
- Mr. Mladenov has held several positions in the inter-governmental and non-governmental sectors, including at the World Bank, the National Democratic Institute and the International Republic Institute.
- Mr. Mladenov earned a Master of Arts in War Studies at the King’s College of London, and a Master’s and Bachelor’s degree in international relations at the University of National and World Economy of Sofia, in Bulgaria.
- Born in Bulgaria in 1972, Mr. Mladenov is married with one child.
- Asked about the recent spike of violence in Iraq, the Spokesperson said the new Special Representative, Mr. Mladenov, will assess this situation when he arrives. In the meanwhile, the Mission in Iraq and the Secretary-General have issued a number of statements condemning the violence.
SECRETARY-GENERAL APPOINTS IBRAHIM THIAW OF MAURITANIA AS DEPUTY HEAD OF U.N. ENVIRONMENT PROGRAMME
- The Secretary-General announced today the appointment of Ibrahim Thiaw of Mauritania as Assistant Secretary-General and Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
- Mr. Thiaw will succeed Amina Mohamed of Kenya, to whom the Secretary-General is grateful for her outstanding contribution and exceptional service to UNEP.
- Mr. Thiaw brings to the position more than 30 years of experience in the fields of environment and sustainable development, coupled with his knowledge of UNEP and multilateral processes. His professional career spans the full spectrum of practical work at national and regional levels to leading global programmes and experience of United Nations inter-agency and intergovernmental processes.
- He joined UNEP in 2007 as Director of the Division of Environmental Policy Implementation (DEPI). Prior to joining UNEP, Mr. Thiaw worked for 15 years for the World Conservation Union (IUCN) where he served in different positions, including Acting Director-General and Regional Director for West Africa.
- Mr. Thiaw started his career in his home country, Mauritania, where he served for ten years in the Ministry of Rural Development.
- Born in 1957 at Tekane in Mauritania, Mr. Thiaw is married with three children.
MALI: U.N. MISSION STANDS READY TO ASSIST AUTHORITIES IN ELECTIONS
- The UN Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) reports that Mali's electoral authorities today announced the provisional results of the presidential elections held on Sunday, 28 July.
- Final results will be proclaimed by the Constitutional court after review.
- A run-off election between the top two candidates is scheduled to take place on 11 August.
- In accordance with its mandate, the Mission will continue to provide security, technical and logistical assistance to the electoral process. The Mission stands ready to assist Malian authorities as requested.
U.N. CALLS FOR FAIR ADJUDICATION OF COMPLAINTS IN CAMBODIAN ELECTIONS
- Asked about the recent elections in Cambodia, the Spokesperson said that, while the United Nations did not play a role in the elections in Cambodia on 28 July, the Secretary-General is following the situation in the country closely.
- The United Nations calls for complaints to be made peacefully and adjudicated fairly with the ultimate aim being the accurate determination of and respect for the will of the Cambodian people.
- Nesirky added that the United Nations has not received a formal request to participate in a committee which reportedly would investigate irregularities.
SECURITY COUNCIL ADOPTS PROGRAMME OF WORK FOR AUGUST: The Security Council, in its first consultations for this month, adopted its programme of work for August. Ambassador María Cristina Perceval of Argentina, the President of the Security Council for August, later briefed reports on the programme of work for the month.
PROTECTION OF CIVILIANS AT CORE OF MANDATE OF U.N. MISSION IN THE D.R.CONGO: Asked about the activities of the Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Spokesperson said the Mission has a clear mandate to protect civilians there.
U.N. WATCHING DEVELOPMENTS IN ZIMBABWE: Asked about the recent elections in Zimbabwe, the Spokesperson said that UN political officers are closely watching developments.
U.N. ENVOY FOR AFGHANISTAN TO ATTEND IRANIAN PRESIDENT’S INAUGURATION: Asked about the inauguration of the new Iranian President this weekend, the Spokesperson said that the Secretary-General's Special Representative in Afghanistan, Jan Kubis, will represent him.
THE WEEK AHEAD AT THE UNITED NATIONS
3 - 9 AUGUST 2013
(This document is for planning purposes and is subject to change.)
Saturday, 3 August
There are no major events scheduled for today.
Sunday, 4 August
There are no major events scheduled for today
Monday, 5 August
At 11:00 a.m., in Conference Room 5 of the North Lawn Building (NLB), there will be a briefing on “The preparatory process of the High-level International Conference on Water Cooperation (Dushanbe, Tajikistan (20–22 August 2013)”. It will be organized by the Permanent Mission of Tajikistan.
At 11:45 a.m., at the Security Council stakeout, there will be a press encounter with the Foreign Ministers of four members of MERCOSUR. Participants will include: Héctor Marcos Timerman, Minister of External Relations and Worship of Argentina; Antonio de Aguiar Patriota, Minister for External Relations of Brazil; Luis Almagro, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Uruguay; and Elías Jaua Milano, Minister of the People's Power for Foreign Affairs of Venezuela. Venezuela is the current President pro tempore of MERCOSUR.
Tuesday, 6 August
This morning, the Security Council will hold an open debate on cooperation between the United Nations and regional and sub-regional organizations.
Wednesday, 7 August
This morning, the Security Council will hold consultations on the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) and on Sudan/South Sudan. In the afternoon, the Council will hold consultations on the 1718 Committee (Democratic People's Republic of Korea sanctions).
Thursday, 8 August
Today is an official holiday at United Nations Headquarters in New York.
Friday, 9 August
Today is the International Day of the World's Indigenous People.
At 3:00 p.m., in Conference Room 1 of the Conference Building (CB), there will be a commemoration of the International Day of the World’s Indigenous. It will be co-organized by the Secretariat of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, Division for Social Policy and Development, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the Department of Public Information and the NGO Committee on the International Decade of the World’s Indigenous Peoples.